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Is this normal?


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#1 Tosin.O

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:45 AM

Hello fellow writers! So I finished writing my first short novel a few weeks ago and found a few beta readers. Everyone who has read it loves it (yay!). But I haven't read it over myself. I don't know why exactly. Every time I think of reading it, to edit it for myself, I get discouraged. Has this ever happened to anyone? Is this normal? I personally think it's a brilliant plot but my reluctance to read it over is a little frightening. :sad:


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#2 Joe Stephens

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

I think everybody's unique. You might ask yourself if there's something specific you fear. Are you afraid it isn't as good as you hope it is? Or are you afraid you'll muck it up by editing? You might also consider hiring an editor. If, like me, you can't afford someone to edit your whole manuscript, then you can do like I did and hire someone to do the first 50 pages to get you started. 



#3 Tosin.O

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:23 AM

I think I fear it's not good enough. But the only way to find out is to read it over right? Thank you for the editing advice. I think that's a good way to start. I'll do it that way because Lord knows I can't afford an editor to review the whole book!


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#4 OSB Author

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:40 AM

I am usually working on two stories at the same time. When I finish one, I let it rest for 2 weeks before I look at it again. By then I am well into the second one and starting a third. It helps me detach a little.



#5 Tosin.O

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:54 AM

Detachment! That's what it is! I see this novel as my baby because it's my very first one so I'm very sensitive about it. I guess i'll give it more time to "rest" before I come back to it. I'll start on a new book :smile:


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#6 mwsinclair

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:19 PM

Yes, setting it aside is a good idea. I'd go at least a month -- perhaps longer if you're not working on something else -- so you give yourself some distance. And it's a great idea to get an editor, but I'd do that after you've gone through it yourself a couple times and gotten some more feedback from other careful readers. It's wonderful to have people tell you it's a great story, but it's even better to receive critiques that note what sounds implausible, or what section caused them to set the manuscript aside, etc.

#7 Tosin.O

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

Yes, setting it aside is a good idea. I'd go at least a month -- perhaps longer if you're not working on something else -- so you give yourself some distance. And it's a great idea to get an editor, but I'd do that after you've gone through it yourself a couple times and gotten some more feedback from other careful readers. It's wonderful to have people tell you it's a great story, but it's even better to receive critiques that note what sounds implausible, or what section caused them to set the manuscript aside, etc.

 

It's been close to a month now but I still don't think I'm ready- I still get a sense of anxiety (lack of better term) when I think about reading it. It's a weird, indescribable feeling. And I definitely need more and better beta readers because most of the ones I've had just say how great it is- not much of a critique. So I'll definitely get an editor.


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#8 Andrew Nelson

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:26 PM

Tosin.O 

 

My apologies for the delay in responding, but writing / promoting has taken up much of my alleged 'free' time.

 

First let me say that you will probably always have these feelings about your books. Remember, unlike everyone else, you have poured your heart into your story. So it is only natural that you will be attached to it.

 

Look at it as an opportunity to refine it. Most of the time, when I re-read my work, I tweak it, change it, etc.... it's only natural. However, at some point you need to let it go, because it will never be 100%. That is where having good beta readers come in handy. You generally don't want friends / family because they have a vested interest in you. Go outside the bubble. This way you know the feedback coming in will be honest and not sugarcoated. 


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#9 Aaron Bradford Starr

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:16 PM

Detachment! That's what it is! I see this novel as my baby because it's my very first one so I'm very sensitive about it. I guess i'll give it more time to "rest" before I come back to it. I'll start on a new book :smile:

 

First off, hi, and glad to meet you.  Oh, and congratulations on finishing your first manuscript.  That's a big deal!

 

Like OSB, I give my projects some down-time before reading them.  But, in my case, it's a whole year for a novel.  I use that time to write another, and that gives me the mental distance I need (and makes the anticipation of a return all the greater).  It's more fun that way.

 

That said, remember that your book is a story, not a bullet-proof vest, parachute, or heart-lung machine.  No one will die if it's not flawless.  With this in mind, you can enjoy the story without all the extra stress of expecting perfection.



#10 Thrash

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:48 PM

Tosin--It's a long process.  Start on your next and as you're writing you'll learn and take those lessons back to fix your first. (That's what happened for me anyway.)






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